BOSTON — This time Seattle didn’t wait till it’s final out to rally. On Saturday, the Mariners dispensed with the drama early.
After falling behind 3-0 for the second straight day, they exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning against Boston starter Brandon Workman, turning a deficit into a 7-3 win.
It was the Mariners’ second straight win and ninth win in their past 12 games. They improved to 70-58 on the season. Last year, they won a total of 71 games.
Seattle will go for a series sweep Sunday with Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound.
It was clear on Workman’s first pitch that he wasn’t fooling the Mariners hitters. Over the first three innings, they got hits, drew walks and hit balls hard, but had nothing to show for it other than a 3-0 deficit.
That changed in the fourth inning when Seattle pounded out seven hits and batted around. After back-to-back singles from Kendrys Morales and Kyle Seager to start the inning, Chris Denorfia doubled to left field to drive in the Mariners’ first run. Workman was able to strike out Endy Chavez, but he never got that second out. Chris Taylor singled home Seager to make it 3-2. Denorfia tied the game when he sprinted home on a wild pitch. Jesus Sucre, who isn’t known for his bat, gave the Mariners a 4-3 lead with an RBI single to left.
Dustin Ackley put the capper on the inning, yanking a 1-2 fastball down line just inside the foul pole for a three-run homer to make it 7-4. Red Sox manager John Farrell finally lifted Workman. Reliever Alex Wilson came in to get the final two outs of the fourth inning.
And that was all the offense the Mariners would muster. They had only one runner reach base after the fourth inning and that was when Robinson Cano was hit in the backside by a pitch in the seventh inning by Wilson in retaliation for Charlie Furbush hitting Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz in the left elbow with a fastball in the sixth inning.
The offensive outburst in the fourth overcame a shaky outing from normally steady starter Chris Young. The veteran right-hander struggled with his command, lasting just 3 2/3 innings on 93 pitches, giving up three runs on seven hits and a season-high five walks with two strikeouts.
But with an eight-man bullpen, the Mariners were more than equipped to offset the short start from Young. Tom Wilhelmsen, Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar and Yoervis Medina combined to pitch the final 5 1/3 innings without allowing a run.